U.S. soybean farmers will receive a helping hand to spread the word about the positive benefits of soy biodiesel and Bioheat.

For the fourth year, the United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff will partner with U.S. Department of Energy-affiliated (DOE) Clean Cities to build demand for soy biodiesel and Bioheat in major urban areas.

The checkoff continues to promote theses homegrown, green sources of energy by working with municipalities that participate in the DOE Clean Cities chapters to increase the availability and use of soy biodiesel and the heating oil alternative known as Bioheat.

“USB’s Clean Cities program multiplies our opportunity for outreach,” says Mike Beard, USB director and soybean farmer from Frankfort, Ind. “These Clean Cities chapters do a tremendous job of communicating the benefits of soy biodiesel and Bioheat to the public.”

The Clean Cities program serves as a government-industry partnership sponsored by DOE and has more than 90 local chapters across the United States. These chapters work in their local areas to reduce petroleum consumption. USB asks that Clean Cities applicants develop programs that communicate the benefits of soy biodiesel through education, demonstrations and promotional activities in suburban and urban areas to help improve availability and use of soy biodiesel.

“Hopefully we’ll see more applications for programs that reach out to potential biofuel users in the commercial area, such as heavy trucks and contractor fleets,” adds Beard. “We also want to continue to reach those who make decisions in municipal governments.”

The checkoff has opened the biodiesel reimbursement application process and encourages Clean Cities chapters to partner with Qualified State Soybean Boards for this project. The application period will close Nov. 14.

Participating chapters will be selected by USB farmer-leaders. USB has provided up to $150,000 to use toward the funding of these soy biodiesel and Bioheat communications programs. Selected participants in this reimbursement program will be announced in mid-December.

In addition, USB has a second reimbursement program opened for Clean Cities. This will focus on creating demand for soy-based products, many developed with the help of the soybean checkoff. This program will award three reimbursements for up to $10,000 and four reimbursements for up to $5,000.

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org